More than a dozen residents living in the Sandy Lane area spoke out against the building of two proposed soccer fields at May 16 at the city’s monthly meeting.
Last November, adjacent to the park for $470,000 with the intent to build new soccer. That would allow the city to have almost all its soccer fields at Schwartz Road Park, while will be used for baseball, softball and football.
Residents spoke out about several concerns, including the expectation of additional flooding and noise that would result from the fields.
Initial site improvement plans were approved at the planning commission meeting after nearly one dozen comments were stated during a public hearing on the item. The plans call for the property to be raised 12 to 18 inches.
While several residents were concerned about the noise the fields could create, most felt the city was neglecting the more pressing need of flooding in the area.
“The city hasn’t addressed the water problem,” one resident said. “You need to address the drainage problem first. The people should be given respect to address the water problem. The drainage is the number one priority.”
Residents said during heavy rains, lawns turn into ponds and the road becomes impassable.
“Last year someone went down the street in a canoe,” one resident said.
Some residents said after homes were built in the Cottage Gate community--with some properties raised 8 feet -- the flooding worsened.
Avon Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said last years flooding was an aberration due to 100-year storms but residents said the flooding problem has been going on for years and putting raised soccer field in would just lead to more flooding. He also said there were no plans to add buffering to the area between the soccer fields and homes on Sandy Lane.
Piazza said some measures have been taken to address flooding but there is no overnight fix.
“We’re working on it trying to find a solution,” Piazza said.
Planning Commission member Bill Fitch said he understood the plight of the Sandy Lane residents and asked if it was possible to have the fields lowered.
“Why can’t the fields be lowered?” Fitch asked. “So when we do have floods…I’d rather see the soccer fields flood than the homeowners.”
City Engineer Robert Knopf said he was well aware of the flooding issue.
“We are looking at everything; we have a plan,” Knopf said, adding the Parks & Recreation Department wanted the fields in so the city can ensure grass will grow as soon as possible.
The plans will move forward to council for review.